BUNDESLIGA, Round 9 (Saturday)

The biggest news: Wolfsburg is alive! After overthrowing tin-pot dictator Felix Magath a couple of days ago, the VWs looked reborn and get their first win since opening day. Interim coach Lorenz-Günther Köstner was apparently like a big dose of ex-lax to the constipated Wölfies. Düsseldorf’s plan seems to re-invent catenaccio, but perhaps the Bundesliga clubs have figured that out now. (BTW, how that plan work out against Bayern? not so good, eh?). Wolfsburg was understandably nervous, so Fortuna’s plan was working for the first half. But then the VWs realized that they were a superior squad (whereas under Magath they probably would have just shut down) and attacked Fortuna, and the result was inevitable. An important victory for Wolfsburg, who’ve shown they’ve got potential to climb out of the bottom. Very disappointing display by Düsseldorf, who could start sliding real fast.

Schalke is coming off some excellent performances (Dortmund, Arsenal), so you’d expect some sort of letdown. Struggling Nürnberg perhaps saw the opportunity for a point, especially since they expected a somewhat less-hostile crowd (Theoretically there is a Fan-freundschaft between the two). Der Club showed a disciplined defense to frustrate the Blues, but were too wimpy going forward. It took a while, but Schalke finally fingured it out and broke through for a deserved, routine, win.

Interesting match in Augsburg. FCA was actually the dominant squad against Hamburg, but was wantonly wasting opportunities. Not surprising, because they don’t really have the talent. HSV laid back and launched some counterattacks, but was ice-cold in grabbing their chances. It was a somewhat lucky win for the visitors, but Augsburg has nobody to blame but themselves. Last season, this is a mtach they would have saved, so that indicates they’re probably going down.

Freiburg has been quietly playing well recently, and they took advantage of the winter conditions to press champions Dortmund. However, the Neons showed midweek against Real Madrid that they’re still a top club, and today they showed what makes champions, as they raised their game in the 2nd half and ground out a workman-like win.

A somewhat balanced southwestern derby between Mainz and Hoffenheim, but Hungarian forward Adam Szalai single-handedly provided the biatch-slapping with a hat-trick. Mainz is quietly having a decent season, and Hoffenheim remains a disaster at back, worst defense in the league.

It took a while, but on loan striker Edu scored the first Bundesliga home goal for Greuther Fürth. Werder actually looked the better team, and had a clear plus in scoring chances, but they wasted them. The home side showed fight and deserved the point.

 	
FC Augsburg	         -   Hamburger SV	  0:2 (0:1)   30,660

                        0:1  Son (13., Rudnevs)
                        0:2  Rudnevs (63., van der Vaart)

FC Schalke 04	         -   1. FC Nürnberg	  1:0 (0:0)   61,000

                        1:0  Farfan (77., Fuchs)

SC Freiburg	         -   Borussia Dortmund	  0:2 (0:0)   24,000

                        0:1  Subotic (54., Reus)
                        0:2  M. Götze (83., Lewandowski)

1. FSV Mainz 05	         -   1899 Hoffenheim	  3:0 (1:0)   28,067

                        1:0  Szalai (21., Junior Diaz)
                        2:0  Szalai (46., Soto)
                        3:0  Szalai (64., N. Müller)

SpVgg Greuther Fürth	 -   Werder Bremen	  1:1 (1:1)   18,000

                        1:0  Edu (8., Stieber)
                        1:1  Petersen (44., Arnautovic)

Fortuna Düsseldorf	 -   VfL Wolfsburg	  1:4 (0:0)   45,673

                        0:1  Dost (50., Olic)
                        0:2  Olic (53., Diego)
                        0:3  Dost (64., Hasebe)
                        1:3  Langeneke (70., penalty, O. Fink)
                        1:4  Diego (78., penalty, Diego)

Sunday matches:
 	
VfB Stuttgart	 -  	Eintracht Frankfurt
Bayern München	 -  	Bayer Leverkusen
Hannover 96	 -  	Borussia M'gladbach 



 1  Bayern München	  	8     8   0   0    26:2   +24 	  24 
 2  FC Schalke 04	  	9     6   2   1    18:8   +10 	  20 
 3  Eintracht Frankfurt (N)	8     6   1   1    19:11  +8 	  19
 4  Borussia Dortmund (M, P)	9     4   3   2    20:11  +9 	  15
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 5  1. FSV Mainz 05	  	9     4   2   3    12:10  +2 	  14 
 6  Hamburger SV	  	9     4   1   4    11:11   0 	  13
---------------------------------------------------------------------
 7  Bayer Leverkusen	  	8     3   3   2    13:11  +2 	  12 
 8  Hannover 96	  	        8     3   2   3    16:13  +3 	  11 
 9  Werder Bremen	  	9     3   2   4    15:14  +1 	  11 
10  SC Freiburg	  	        9     3   2   4    13:12  +1 	  11 
11  Fortuna Düsseldorf (N)	9     2   4   3     7:12  -5 	  10 
12  VfB Stuttgart	  	8     2   3   3     8:14  -6 	  9 
13  Borussia M'gladbach	  	8     2   3   3     9:16  -7 	  9 
14  1899 Hoffenheim	  	9     2   2   5    13:20  -7 	  8 
15  1. FC Nürnberg	  	9     2   2   5     7:15  -8 	  8
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16  VfL Wolfsburg	  	9     2   2   5     6:16  -10 	  8
--------------------------------------------------------------------
17  FC Augsburg	  	        9     1   3   5     5:13  -8 	  6 
18  SpVgg Greuther Fürth (N)    9     1   3   5     6:15  -9 	  6

M = Meister, defending Champion
P = Pokal, defending Cup winner
N = Neuling, newly promoted
1st line: Champions League
2nd line: Europaliga (+ Cup winner)
3rd line: Playoff with 2.Liga 3rd place
4th line: Releghation to 2.Liga

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